Bare Bones, an experimental dance performance, incorporates visual installations and live abstract sound. The production filled the SandBox Studio at Miami Theater Center (MTC).
Although I was initially skeptical, quite skeptical to watch this contemporary dance performance, when I first walked into the quaint black box theater, I was swept away by the ambiance created by the set: props in place and dancers in movement.
A dancer at the far left huddled amongst strewn pieces of wood with an oversized headpiece, seemingly made of twigs and red wine, another was wrapped and writhing in reflective crunchy sounding material. Every few whirls of this material revealed the female dancer’s bare chest and nude underwear. Usually, the trope of nudity in dance is bothersome, but as the piece progressed, both dancers convinced me that they knew exactly what they were doing. The depth and breadth of visual vocabulary in this performance was a true testament to the complexity, beauty, and awkward nature of the human body.
The heavy and stalwart movements of Miami-based Spanish choreographer and dancer, Carlota Pradera, were complimented by the luscious and inimitable strong movements by Cuban dancer, Lazaro Godoy. The struggle, tension, intimacy, and playfulness on the bodies of these highly trained dancers was a potent metaphor of the strange beast that sex can be. The boundaries of movement were literally in constant flux between boundlessness and extreme physical control over one’s own body. Pradera and Godoy allowed their bodies to indulge in flesh and form, creating a distinct relationship between gravity and the association of humans, to one another in space and time. With their heads invisibly bound trying to lick one another, and Pradera falling and then recovering (to the point of bleeding), the performance left the audience literally gasping.
Artistic Director, Juan Carlos Zaldivar, put great thought and artistry into the overall aesthetic of the performance. That coupled with the dark, eclectic original live music by sound artists/composers, Juraj Kojs and Rainer Davies, created an atmosphere of full indulgence for the audience. In the end, hands clapping and mind swirling, I felt a peculiar comfort in having entered a dense realm of crude human intimacy. Bare bones justly tapped into the strength of exploring the uncomfortable nuances of the human experience. Bravo!